Patronage, Politics of Culture and the Dancing Body of the Other: A North-east Indian Experience: Lokendra Arambam
Kapila Vatsyayan, in her report to the UNESCO in 1972 on aspects of cultural policies in India, gave brilliant insights into the mind and workings of the emerging postcolonial nation state on issues of understanding ‘the complex, intricate, multilayered, multi-dimensional cultural fabric of the country both in time and space’. She spoke about
I quote Vatsyayan’s statement at some length, for it is essential to look into whether the pious, yogic aspirations of visionaire intellectuals and leaders of culture are in commensurate relationship with the hard praxis experiences of government patronage and politics of the nation state. The Nehruvian ideals in the Government of India’s realization that an all-out
In lauding the work of the National Sangeet Natak Akademi, she mentioned the contribution of the SNA in rediscovering many traditional forms of performing arts. ‘During the last decade it has seemed as if the dust had been taken off many fragments of a large luminous mirror!’ Manipuri dance was discovered and incorporated into the corpus of the Indian classical dances. Vatsyayan called the Manipuri dances the oldest and youngest of the classical dances of India. Manipuri dance had its origin from ancestral pre-history more than a few thousand years old, and Manipur was integrated into the Indian Union in India’s modern history, i.e., 1949.